Despite what you may have assumed about the term body blunders, I'm not talking about passing gas – though you should try REALLY hard not to let that happen in an interview. I'm talking about your body language and the signals your movements send. Here's a short list of the biggest body blunders that could ruin your interview – no matter how skilled or qualified you are.
- Dodgy eye contact. Like when you were a child and your mother accused you of stealing a candy bar from the grocery store – you know you did it, but you don't want to admit it, so you look at the floor, the ceiling, her shoes – anywhere but her eyes. Similarly, if you don't make eye contact in the interview, your words will lack credibility and you'll be less likely to get your point across strongly.
- Nervous twitching. Rubbing your nose. Scratching your arm. Bouncing your leg. Adjusting your seat. Laughing inappropriately. Doing one of these things in limited quantity shouldn't make an impact on the interviewer's opinion of you. But doing all of them (or a few of them repeatedly) during the entire interview will definitely leave the interviewers talking about you – and not in a good way.
- Too many um's, ah's, and like's. Shooting glances around the room and inserting seven "um's" in a ten-word sentence, or saying "like" after every other word will show that you a) are a poor communicator, and b) don't believe in what you're saying. Maybe neither of these is true, but your nerves will indicate otherwise.
- Blabbering. If you don't pay attention to exactly what the interviewer is asking, you're more inclined to ramble through your answer. I recently overheard two managers whose main complaint about a job candidate they'd just interviewed was that he went on for what seemed like an eternity, responding to a question that should have only taken a couple of sentences to answer. Word of advice: Don't do that.
So how do you avoid these blunders? Simple: Do the opposite of each function. Maintain eye contact, sit still, speak well, and be precise.
You may have the skills and experience they're looking for, but many times the one who gets the job offer is the one they like.
Are there any other actions you can think of that would send the wrong signal? Let me know what I missed in the comments below.
Dumbass Mistakes New Grads Make in Interviews